Have you ever been walking down a crowded sidewalk or hallway, and thought that you heard your name called out? Sometimes, we find that we’ve crossed paths with a friend who we haven’t seen in a long time. Or, maybe there’s a fellow student or employee who has a question for us, and spotted a good time to ask in person (which is usually better than a text or e-mail). If you look out and see a bright light when you hear the voice, well…if you’re on stage, that’s probably the prompter telling you your next cue.
There can also be strangers trying to get your attention. Once, I was getting out of a shuttle bus (having dropped off the rental car, a little ways from the airport) and heard someone calling “Sir! Sir!”. Looking back, I saw that another passenger from the shuttle bus had seen me leave my cell phone behind, and was running up to give it back to me. Another time, I even had a total stranger get out of his car at a light, and come up to my car to tell me that I had a flat tire.
There are other people who are trying to get our attention, but whom we actively try to ignore. Maybe it’s someone at a kiosk at the mall, promoting a product you’re not interested in. Maybe it’s someone who you have been avoiding because they want you to sign up for a committee or to sponsor a school function.
Still, I think we’d like to have voices that are pointing us in the right direction. Like a narrator in a campy movie, telling clueless characters what to do, it would be great to know what we should choose at each step. (For instance, “Don’t go into the creepy house!”)
The people of Israel were promised this sort of helpful direction, in the following verse:
Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Isaiah 30:21 NASB
When we are listening to the direction of God – the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who lives in followers of Jesus – we have the direction we need. Sometimes, the path we’re on looks more enticing than the one we should follow. Sometimes, the right path might not make sense at the time. Still, there is a direction that God (who is all-knowing and loves us greatly) gives us, which defines the best path for us.
When we hear His call, let us each heed it. May we not try to tune it out, or pretend we didn’t hear (after all, He knows when we do this). May we be bold and step out onto the path, even when it doesn’t make sense.
(Don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes it seems difficult to hear God’s voice clearly. In those times, we can stick to the clear directions that He provides in the Bible, and at least know that – even if we don’t know all of the decisions to make, specifically – we’re not on a path that violates His commands.)
More than that, though, I hope that we won’t just wait until we get a holy push in one direction or another. If we really want to find our purpose, let’s go out and look for the direction of God – in His Word, through His servants, and in the environment He places around us.
After all, the “narrow path” is an important one to find. I pray that you will join me in seeking it out, and staying on it – not through our own feeble strength of will, but by following the direction of the Voice that tells us when we’re getting off-track.
For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:14 NASB
Have a great walk on the narrow path, today!